(JACKSON-WASHINGTON STATE FOREST) - 24-year-old Erica Holloway, of Columbia City, who was missing was found safe by Indiana Conservation Officers in the Jackson-Washington State Forest early Wednesday morning.
Holloway had been missing since approximately 2 a.m. She and her boyfriend, 27-year-old Joshua Akers, of Scottsburg, had entered the state forest property sometime after 11 p.m. Tuesday and got separated.
After making his way back to their vehicle, Akers drove to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department for assistance.
Conservation Officers and multiple agencies responded to search for Holloway.
Conservation Officers utilized ATVs and four-wheel-drive vehicles in the search for Holloway. They were assisted by local fire departments, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and also an Indiana State Police Helicopter.
Holloway eventually located a camp building and went inside for warmth, where she was located by a passerby who drove her to the Jackson County Justice Center at approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Holloway was exhausted but uninjured, and refused medical treatment.
Holloway and Akers were issued citations for entering a DNR property after hours.
Alcohol is believed to have been a contributing factor to the incident.
Conservation Officers encourage all hikers to be prepared when taking to the woods. Aside from the proper attire, necessary items should include a current map of the trails, compass, first aid kit, flashlight, and extra food and water.
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